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Officials: Reduce water, power consumption

The City of Orange is asking to residents/customers to please reduce water consumption the next 24-48 hours (Wednesday thru Thursday) in an effort to possibly prevent a boil water notice. Your assistance and support are critical at this time.

Monitoring of conditions are ongoing and updates will be shared.

City of Pinehurst is also asking residents to conserve water as levels are low after the power outage the day before.

Orangefield Water Supply Corporation is experiencing issues due to the icy conditions. Is sewer lift stations and control systems are frozen. Crews are working hard to get everything back up and working. If you are experiencing any sewer backing up call the emergency phone numbers.

Orange County officials urge citizens to stay home due to unsafe road conditions and only travel if necessary. Minimal melting may occur; however the roads will begin to refreeze later in the day and travel will be dangerous.

As a safety reminder, never use a generator in an enclosed or partially enclosed structure or near windows or vents. Portable generators produce deadly levels of carbon monoxide (a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas making it nearly impossible to detect). Always keep and read the owners manual and follow all safety guidelines.

More cold weather is expected on Thursday and Friday as near freezing temperatures stay in the area.

While Entergy Texas has been cleared to returned to normal operations, weather conditions still pose challenges in the coming days. These record-breaking temperatures can drive increased electricity usage which can increase demand on the system and impact infrastructure. According to a press release, customers can follow these easy steps to help reduce consumption and lower usage:

  • Setting the thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter is an easy way to reduce how much energy you use.
  • Conserve hot water. Wrap your electric water heater with a water heater blanket that can be found at local home improvement stores and set the thermostat to 120 degrees or medium.
  • Keep all doors and windows closed. Constant traffic will let out the warm air, forcing your heater to work harder to keep the room at the set temperature.
  • Ensure fans are turning the right way. Fans should be run at a low speed clockwise during the winter. This helps keep the cold air from blowing down on you.
  • Keep the air circulating. Don’t block heat registers or air returns with curtains or furniture.
  • Leverage the sun. During the day, open your curtains and blinds to let in the warm sunlight. Close them at night to reduce heat loss.

If one must use a generator, remember to not operate it inside.

  • Never use generators indoors.In the case of a power outage, never use generators indoors, in a garage or in any confined area where CO can collect. Also refrain from using charcoal grills, camp stoves and other similar devices indoors, including enclosed porches.
  • Check your CO alarms.CO is an invisible, odorless gas that can only be detected with a CO alarm. For ultimate protection, install alarms on every level of the home and near each sleeping area. Test your alarms regularly to make sure they are functioning and remember to change the batteries every six months.
  • Be mindful of the garage.Never leave a car running in an attached garage. Even if the garage door is open, CO emissions can leak into the home.
  • Know the symptoms.Similar to the flu, symptoms include headache, nausea and feeling tired or short of breath. If a CO alarm sounds or symptoms appear, get everyone outside to fresh air immediately and call 911.